Cabin Fever Relief

Trail: Raccoon River Park, Jordan Creek

Location: West Des Moines

Starting Point: Fishing dock east of the parks entrance.


Overview

A beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 40’s called for being outside and going on a bike ride in the snow at Raccoon River Park.

My son came along and brought The Clunker to ride.  We were curious to see if we would be able to ride the nature path surrounding Blue Heron lake.  Would it be too snowy?  Yes!  After pedaling less than ¼ of a mile we ditched the bikes.  It was such slow going, and teeth-rattling bumpy.  A small path had been packed in the snow by walkers and snow skiers, but wasn’t packed enough for our bikes.  We said ‘see ya’ to our bikes and went for a hike before heading back to the snow-free asphalt trail.

Once we reached the asphalt trail we rode through the park and then headed north on the Jordan Creek trail for a bit.  We decided to turn around where the trail meets Fuller Road.  Apparently riding The Clunker while wearing your snow gear makes you reeeelieeeeeeee tired!

Considerations

This is a great spot for taking kids out for a bike ride since there is no traffic to worry about.  With the awesome playground, beach, nature lodge, and fishing pier, there are several opportunities to have fun...even in the snow!

Sightings

After unpacking our bikes we headed off towards the trail, but first took a detour to the boat ramp where we saw footprints in the snow of an ice fisherman and the track of his sled.  We spotted him out on the ice once we rode back past the fishing pier.  He was just getting set up for a day of fishing.  

On our hike along Blue Heron we noticed how low the water line was.  We were able to walk out on the sand to a little island that normally is surrounded by water.  Deer had made the trip out there as well.  Perhaps they go to the little island to sleep at night.

Stops

No stops on this ride except for helping my travel companion off the ground after falling off his bike collapsing into the snow.  

Treats

Some hot cocoa and granola bars were waiting for us in the car for a post-ride treat.  We opened the tailgate for a spot to sit and talk while sipping our cocoa complete with whipped cream.

Wrap Up

Even though riding the nature trail didn’t pan out, we had a great time getting out in the sun and the snow on a warm winter day. Little adventures like this do a good job of fighting off cabin fever and make wintertime less daunting.  We will be sure to return this spring to loop Blue Heron.


Happy Riding!